I feel better about this one.

QUICK EDIT: I brightened it up just a bit.

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Ta-da! I think this one looks so much better. The hair texture was difficult to do over a surface that large, but I think it came out well.

spider4frontcolor

I’m finding that listening to interviews and podcasts by artists has really helped my workflow. It’s been helping me by providing background noise, but it’s less distracting than music. Even saying that, it’s been really informative and educational. I’ve also come across some really interesting ideas, such as some of the ones from “Interview with Pascal Campion Part 2” with Chris Oatley. One thing that really hit me from this series was the idea that your draftsmanship skills are really secondary to your passions and ideas. If a company wants to have a photo-realistically rendered digital painting, they’ve got people lined up all the way out the door. Your value that sets you apart is in what you’ve driven to work on and your point of view. If you’re passionate about what you’re working on, the beauty and aesthetic will come through because you’ll be excited to work on it to completion.

Another good interview on Chris Oatley’s YouTube channel is his “Interview with Character Designer Brett ‘2D Bean'”.

On that note, I have a request. I’m trying to find where I need to focus on this project to push it further along, so I made up a little poll. If you would please provide some feedback, I’d appreciate it greatly!

Thank you for your feedback!

WIP Wednesday?

I figured it was worth a shot.

A few people I know participate in “Work in Progress Wednesday” on a few different artist and craftspeople forums and groups. Maybe it might work out for getting more feedback. I don’t know, so I’m testing it out. This is my submission for this week:

WIPWednesday12-9-15

Please ignore the lack of named layers and be understanding that my work flow is weird (which is why half of the abdomen is farther along than the other half).

Happy Wednesday!

Busy Week

This week, I focused on getting my work presentable for my Monday morning presentation.

I started work on creating the value structure and features for the newest version of the spider, created a slightly fancier uniform background for the spiders and plant assets that better showcases the silhouettes and colors, and sketched in some of the creatures and ideas for improving upon the environment I was working on.

All of these things can be viewed on Monday’s post: Portfolio Progress.

The rest of the week has been very busy, but taking the time to make these works more presentable, I came to a few realizations and conclusions about how to spend the rest of the semester wrapping up this portion of the project.

First of all, taking the time to make a really clean silhouette allowed me to make vast improvements on the spider concept and really think about exactly how I wanted it to look. This newer version is not nearly as fuzzy, either in the quality of line or the concept as a whole. For that reason, I would like to take the time to quickly go back and clean up the plants that I have made.

Second, I realized that all the plants I made are in very different size formats that don’t necessarily show scale but was used to show more detail. This doesn’t look very professional and makes it difficult to format them all together. When doing the clean-up for the plants, I’m going to design a format with which to show them. The size of the images will all be the same and possibly have a legend in the corner to show scale.

Third, I was reminded to ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN B. My tablet broke Sunday night while I was working on all these things. My back-up tablet is also not working. I am currently borrowing a tablet and looking to send mine in for repairs. I was aware of programs crashing, but forgot the possibility that equipment might fail. I didn’t have a plan and it caused more than five hours of wasted time trying to figure out how to keep going without the precision control I needed.

So, that was my week. Also, I’ve updated my ArtStation Page and created a Behance WIP Page with what I’ve done this week and intend to have a traditional media drawing posted early to my Patreon feed for patrons. Hope you make time to go check these things out!

Portfolio Progress

Here is an updated view of my progress through the semester on this project. I’ve been improving upon the different assets quite a bit and learning a lot.

The most important things I’ve learned is to keep searching for new ways to do things (especially ways to increase efficiency), keep practicing the fundamentals (in traditional media formats as well), and seek out feedback (but take all criticism with a grain of salt).

Tufted Titmouse and Finches

This week has been very busy but not very productive. It’s the week right before Thanksgiving Break, so EVERYTHING is due. Also, everything kind of hit the fan this week. Sadly, that means that my portfolio work got put on the back burner.

My focus went back to the environment scene and I was trying to figure out birds (ANY KIND OF BIRDS) that would help bring together the composition and show how the spiders hunt. So far, I’m looking at the Tufted Titmouse and different Finches for possible references.

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AAAND more saturated versions of these are the kinds of colors I want to use for the birds (this is the picture I took that I did the color picking for the purple/gray grass with):

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Podcasts and Portfolio Review

This past week, I spent most of my time cleaning and organizing my workspace (aka, bedroom and school schedule) instead of actually drawing. I did manage to multitask and get some portfolio-related things done at the same time, though.

I started watching more videos and listen to podcasts about how to compose a professional concept art portfolio (listed at the end of the post). I picked up on some specific things, but be warned: this probably reads like a random list of notes because I mostly just jotted things down as the podcasts were going.

For starters, limit your portfolio to maybe 12 pieces at most, but don’t put in anything less than your best. It’s better to have one or two really good pieces than anything that is a lesser quality work. Another is to only include work you want to be doing. If you like drawing characters, draw characters; if you like modelling vehicles, model vehicles. Putting in things you don’t like will bring down the quality and confuse the person viewing your work. Don’t include sketches or process works. If they want to see it, they will ask. Keep any descriptions brief. Have consistency between pieces. Update your portfolio often and get rid of old work (it’s not going to be your best and it brings the whole portfolio down). Make sure you only show work that you can be proud of because otherwise it’s not worth showing. Also, your blog and your portfolio are SEPARATE things. Your portfolio is for getting a job. Your blog is for the casual viewer and to get feedback or see progress on your work. Plus, the scrolling is a turn-off to employers.

In regards to the blogging and social media aspect of drawing attention to your work… Respect your viewers by showing your genuine self and not simply making work for the purpose of click-bait. Be accessible to your viewers and potential employers on a personable level. There are great artists out there who aren’t and it can cause them to lose out on a lot of opportunities. Be consistent – always put stuff out there because if you aren’t, people will stop thinking about you. One suggestion is to connect with your contacts and maybe even your previous employers (for freelancing) every few months or so to remind them of your work and that you’re still there making art. People will go to who they remember for filling positions, so be memorable and don’t let them forget you. Avoid hero-worship; you’ll never get any better if you waste time letting yourself be paralyzed by how great someone else’s work is. Let it be an inspiration to keep going and get to that level, not a discouragement from trying. Also, it’s fine to look up to artists, but realize that no one is faultless and they have to be working constantly to keep up their skills. And it’s quite limiting to only draw inspiration from people you admire. Go out into the real world and draw inspiration from THE SOURCE. Reference comes from somewhere, right? Focus on the fundamentals. Perspective is often ignored (it applies to characters and the proportions of everything), make sure your values work, if your image doesn’t make sense in thumbnail form or from a distance it’s not going to work. Going through the fundamentals kind of gives you a checklist and system to run through when you get stuck so that you can make a piece work. One good practice is line art caricature work; it’s drawing likenesses really quickly, like a gesture drawing.

Keeping these things in mind, I pruned the crap out of my Behance portfolio (which is listed on my business cards) and have rethought how to go about constructing my work for my senior portfolio class.

Also, here’s the spider silhouettes, side by side! (My blog site wouldn’t upload the image for some reason, so this was posted to my Facebook art page first.)

New silhouettes!

Spider Silhouettes

Here are my videos and references for the week: